Make Your Bed!

Mothers (and fathers) around the world are known for saying, “Make your bed!” This time of year, especially in honor of Mother’s and Father’s Day, we like to interpret that statement as a request to make a raised bed. Here’s an update on that topic with some support and inspiration.

First, for support, common questions include:

Second, for inspiration, here’s a few styles of raised beds we’ve recently seen around town.


Long, tall beds make for easier weeding. And check out that thick mulch: keeps everything nice and tidy around the beds.

Strawberries! Yum.

Strawberries along the perimeter, plus asparagus (a perennial as well) in the inside. This is a bed that will be a springtime favorite for years to come.

Who says a raised bed needs to have boards around it? These earthy mounds achieve the same goal, with tidy paths in-between each bed.

We support healthy soil!


What are you growing in your raised bed this year?

If you carrot all about soil health, these puns walnut let you down

Have you been wining about low yields? Citrus down on that chair and let me squash your problems.

If you carrot all about soil health, lettuce almond your soil by raisin the bar for healthy soil.

So water your waiting for?

You butternut say it’s too expensive, because with the cashew make back on your increased yields, you can berry those costs in the dirt.

Like a bee puts nectarine in its hive, compost put nutrients directly in your soil. If your barley hanging in there with these puns, compost your comments on our website.

We walnut let you down.

~Created by Adam Pescatore

Photos from US Composting Council’s “Demo Days” in Los Angeles

The US Composting Council hosted its 25th annual conference in Los Angeles.  Harvest was a proud sponsor of the conference, and provided safety gear for the legendary “Demo Days” event at the City of Lopez Canyon Compost Facility. Ops attendees included Ted C., Chris F., Brent B., and Stewart M. Check out the beautiful scene in the following photos (photos thanks to Ted):

USCC 2017 - looking over windrows USCC 2017 - scarab turning and steam USCC 2017 - screeners USCC 2017 - spreading USCC 2017 - windrow close up USCC 2017 - windrow cover and steam USCC 2017 - windrow turning USCC 2017 - windrows and hils in distance USCC 2017 - windrows wtih scarab USCC 2017 - windrows USCC 2017 in front of Komtech USCC 2017


Biocycle – San Diego

BioCycle is not only the trusted trade journal of the organics recycling industry, but also hosts two conferences each year – one on each coast – that bring together experts, thought leaders, and innovators. These photos capture some of the scene from this year’s conference in San Diego.


CEO Chris Kasper, Lorraine Paskett, and Ashwani Kumar at Harvest’s booth

BioCycle 2016

CEO Chris Kasper answering questions and connecting with industry experts



BioCycle 2016

BioCycle Editor Nora Goldstein kicking off an educational session



David Hitchcock and Chris Kasper flash smiles



EcoSafe‘s signage for multifamily and educational facilities



Mingling in the exhibit hall



Harvest Welcomes Joanna Rees to its Board of Directors

Rees_Joanna_Profile_Pic_BODHarvest’s board of directors just got even more robust with the addition of Joanna Rees, a dynamo with expertise in driving growth in nationally distributed, branded consumer products. Joanna has served on the board of more than 25 companies across a broad range of industries including Stonyfield Farms, the first nationally distributed organic yogurt brand in the U.S.  Welcome, Joanna!  Read the full announcement.

Five Steps for Successful Raised Bed Gardening

Benefits of Raised Beds

First, you might be wondering why not just stick plants in the ground; why bother with raised beds? Raised beds are an excellent design for a number of reasons.

  • Raised beds improve drainage. In general, while plants need moisture, they don’t appreciate “wet feet”. Raised beds ensure good flow and drainage.
  • Raised beds improve aeration. An important component of good soil structure is air. Indeed, air comprises 25% of an ideal soil composition (25% air, 25% mineral soil, 45% mineral soil, and 5% organic matter). A raised bed allows you to fluff up the soil each season.
  • Raised beds add a sense of containment and order. Whether or not you have a raised bed within a structure, or with a natural border, they add a sense of order and organization to your landscape.

Raised Bed Inspiration

Next, let’s get some raised bed inspiration. As you can see, you can create a raised bed out of many materials and in a wide variety of shapes and sizes depending on your space and needs.

raised bed_0822

These raised beds, in the center of a community space, are thigh-high to keep animals out and ease harvesting of vegetables.

raised bed_1966

These raised beds, along the Fraser River in British Columbia, have benches around them to sit and enjoy the scenery.

raised beds within lawn

Not all raised beds have a border; these backyard beds were mounded up within the existing lawn.

This raised bed full of tasty herbs is located just off of a kitchen, making it easier to grab a fresh sprig of rosemary, thyme, sage, or whatever flavor is required.

This raised bed full of tasty herbs is located just off of a kitchen, making it easier to grab a fresh sprig of rosemary, thyme, sage, or whatever flavor is desired.

5 Steps for Creating a Raised Bed

Now that you recognize the benefits and are inspired, how do you go about creating a raised bed garden?

1. Pick a spot.

Full sun, or a mix of sun and shade, typically works best.

2. Pick your design / material. 

Use materials that are locally available to you. Wood (cedar typically lasts the longest), bricks, pots, and poured concrete are some ideas; the material should make sense for your space (and wallet!).

3. Fill the Space with Top Quality Soil

Generally speaking, a raised bed is at least 6”-10” higher than the existing soils. Also, you’ll want a soil blend that has both mineral soil (the existing soil) mixed with organic matter (e.g. compost or some other form of soil amendment). Harvest offers pre-blended mixes, such as Garden Soil in Connecticut, Garden Blend in British Columbia, and a range of bagged soil products (Potting Soil, Potting Mix, Soil Amendments, Peat Moss, and compost-based products) available from our retail partners.

4. Plant

Seeds or starts, veggies or flowers, plant what makes sense for you! Your local garden center will have tips. Our advice:

  • Start out small and build from your successes.
  • Have fun! Grow what you know. Also feel free to experiment! Gardening is a forgiving activity that provides an endless opportunity for exploring and learning.

5. Maintain

ON THE SIDE: It can be nice to maintain the border of your raised bed by applying a 2-3” layer of mulch, or rock, gravel, or pavers to keep down weeds.

SEASON TO SEASON: Your soil will get depleted over time. We suggest adding a 2-4” layer of soil amendment, such as compost or a potting mix, and mixing it into the top 6” of the bed every couple years. Of course, as with everything, remember to water.

NOTE: With watering, plants typically prefer a few long drinks (a couple deep water sessions per week) over short sips (many short sprays of water per week).

Let’s get back to some raised bed inspiration.

This raised bed is outside of a school: each class gets one plot. Also, check out the easy-to-maintain mulch that keeps the weeds at bay.

These raised beds are outside of a school: each class gets one plot. Also, check out the easy-to-maintain mulch that keeps down weeds.

Looks like the garlic (with a light mulch of straw) and kale (background) overwintered in these beds.

The garlic (in the foreground with a light mulch of straw) and kale (in the background) overwintered in these beds.

Yum: Strawberries, a great, simple snack on the way to class.

Yum! Strawberries, a great, simple snack on the way to class.

Ahoy! Who says raised beds need to be square.

Ahoy! Who says raised beds need to be square.

Looks like this gardener is going to try out square foot gardening.

Looks like this gardener is going to try out square foot gardening.

A raised bed at a Harvest site in Connecticut.  It's like a blank canvas waiting for gardening art.

A raised bed at a Harvest site in Connecticut. It’s like a blank canvas waiting for gardening art.

Note the weed deterrent strategy: cleared ground, covered with cloth, covered with a layer of mulch.

Note the weed deterrent strategy: cleared ground, covered with cloth, covered with a layer of mulch.

Simple, productive, orderly, and beautiful raised beds. What fun!

Simple, productive, orderly, and beautiful raised beds. What fun!

Do you have a raised bed?  If so, what style worked for you? What have you grown?

Harvest Power is Named to the 2015 Global Cleantech 100


Harvest Recognized Among Top Private Companies in Clean Technology for the Sixth Year in a Row

WALTHAM, MASS. (January 26, 2016) – Harvest Power, Inc., a leader in organics management solutions, today announced it was named to the 2015 Global Cleantech 100, a recognition it has received in each of the last six years. The Global Cleantech 100, produced by Cleantech Group, recognizes private companies that demonstrate the most innovative and promising ideas in clean technology and are best positioned to make the most significant market impact.

“We are proud to be named among cleantech’s top innovators and leaders,” said Christian Kasper, CEO of Harvest Power. He continued, “Our commitment to help communities meet their sustainability goals at the intersection of organic recycling, clean energy and healthy soil shines brighter than ever with this recognition.”

This year, a record number of nominations were received for the Global Cleantech 100, including 6,900 companies from 60 countries. The 100-member expert panel that selected the final list was drawn from leading financial investors and representatives of multi-national corporations and industries active in technology and innovation scouting across Asia, Europe, and North America.

“The Global Cleantech 100 provides us with insight into the collective opinion of key market players on which megatrends and innovation companies are most likely to have a significant impact in the next 5-10 years,” said Michele Parad, Senior Manager at Cleantech Group and lead author of the Global Cleantech 100 Report. “Now in its 7th year, the Global Cleantech 100 program reveals which themes are staying relevant and which sectors are taking center stage.”

The complete list of 100 companies was revealed on January 25, 2016 at the Cleantech Forum San Francisco. In addition to accepting the honor, Harvest’s CEO Christian Kasper will present at “The Circular Economy: Taking Inspiration From Nature” session, focusing on how the company turns organic wastes into sources of clean energy and enriching soil products.

Harvest Power creates a more sustainable future by helping communities across North America better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy, soils, mulches and natural fertilizers. Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008, garnering awards for its business of organic recycling, energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award and was named one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World for 2014.


HARVEST MEDIA CONTACT: Meredith Sorensen, 206-569-0344,

CLEANTECH GROUP MEDIA CONTACT:  Heather Matheson, 415-233-9714,

View the press release via BusinessWire.